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Saturday, November 28, 2015

Weekly Winners

Below is a list of all of the winners from last week.

Anita Yancy
Stop at Nothing by Kate SeRine

Meredith Miller
More than Physical by Sierra Hill

All winners have been notified via email and are posted on the Rafflecopter form from that giveaway post. Thank you to everyone that stopped by and entered. =)

ARC Review: Seven Nights to Surrender by Jeanette Gray

This is my first book by Jeanette Gray and for me it was a pretty good introduction to her as an author. In "Seven Nights" Kate is in Paris basically trying to find herself. Kate is an art student who recently graduated. The advice one of her mentors gave her sums up the struggle Kate is in. Kate can imitate the art forms of other great artist but she needs to create her own form to be great herself. That proved to be a truth that extended beyond just her art. When we first meet Kate she is trying to find her way and just keep herself from getting robbed but slowly she emerges as a more complex character. Eventually Kate stops trying to be something and starts living her life and Rylan is the catalyst for the change.

Rylan is kind of a mystery. He's been in Paris for a year because of something that happened back home in the states. The author dangles carrots of information about whatever Rylan ran from but you never really get the full picture. You just know it's going to be something that is eventually going to become an issue for Rylan and Kate. Rylan wants Kate from the minute he sees her. Initially, he just wants her because hooking up with tourist is what he does. It's an easy way to get off and get away when they go home. But Rylan quickly discovers that he wants more from Kate than the usual physical release. He actually starts spending time with her and becomes her Paris tour guide of sorts. Of course Rylan never tells Kate why he is in Paris or what basically drove him out of the states so you are just waiting for that little missed detail to come back and hunt the couple.

Rylan helps Kate to explore her sexuality in several deeply erotic scenes. The sex scenes are well depicted and parallel the emergence of Kate as a woman and an artist. Rylan is my perfect book boyfriend in the bedroom...or wherever things get steamy. He's got a dirty mouth and a take charge attitude that I love. Rylan is basically what Kate needs on every level to discover her path in life. Kate slowly gets sucked into Rylan and starts to want him for more than just a sex/Paris tour guide. Of course just when both of them are finding that seven days won't be enough, everything that has been building in the background about Rylan breaks through and rocks the relationship and then the book ends. Yup, there is a cliff.

I didn't know this book was going to be part 1 in a series but now you've been warned. This was a pretty good book but I can't see myself returning for another installment in the series. The author is really good at creating scenes, there were times when I really felt like I was in Paris. That's a good thing in terms of the author's literary ability but I wasn't reading the book for that reason. I was reading this book for romance and erotic exploration and there are large sections of the book that just aren't about that. The pace of the book became an issue for me. The book was very slow at certain parts and I felt like I was reading about one long date between the main characters (because I was). The book picks up at other parts but much to my chagrin, it slows down again and takes on the one long date feel. I think if I could guarantee that the next book in the series was going to move at the same pace as the more intriguing scenes in this book I would pick it up. I still think this book was a worthwhile read and the cliffhanger didn't leave me feeling particularly disappointed.

**ARC provided by Publisher**

Purchase: | Amazon | Kindle | B&N | iTunes |

Guest Post with Author Paige Tyler and Giveaway #CMCon16

Meet Paige Tyler author of In the Company of Wolves and one of the featured authors that will be at the Coastal Magic Convention in February in Daytona Beach.

Paige Tyler is a USA Today Bestselling Author of sexy, romantic fiction. She and her very own military hero (also known as her husband) live on the beautiful Florida coast with their adorable fur baby (also known as their dog). Paige graduated with a degree in education, but decided to pursue her passion and write books about hunky alpha males and the kickbutt heroines who fall in love with them.

ARC Review: The Truth About Him by M. O'Keefe

The Truth About Him is the follow-up to Everything I Left Unsaid by M. O'Keefe. This book is not a standalone and continues the story from the first book, so it needs to be read in order. I couldn't wait to start this book after the way the first one ended. I loved the cover on this one just as much as the first! They are so pretty, and I think that they instantly draw you in! I will say that I was a bit disappointed with this book though, and as much as I wanted to love it I had some things that kept me from enjoying it as much as the first. 

The Truth About Him picks up right where the first one leaves off. Dylan and Annie are no longer strangers that just speak on the phone, and their connection continues to grow. But faced with danger on more than one front, Dylan is determined to do whatever it takes to keep Annie safe. Though Dylan tries to put up walls, Annie is just as determined to tear them down and see all that Dylan has kept a secret from her. But will Dylan allow Annie in, or is he incapable of feeling the same way about her as she is about him? 

As much as I loved Dylan and Annie in the first book, I felt so disconnected from them here. Things seemed to go around in circles and not much happened between them. Besides the constant sex that they were having, there wasn't a lot of development when it came to their relationship. The majority of this book focused on other characters and everything that was going on around them. I was disappointed with how little we saw of these two who supposedly were building something unlike anything that either of them had before finding each other. There was just so much going on around them besides these two having sex and it left little page time for any kind of real emotional depth or growth. Though they might have felt love or said the words, I had a hard time really seeing it or believing it.

I also felt like this book was really slow. It wasn't holding my interest like the first, which is surprising. I felt like one of the biggest issues for Dylan and Annie was solved almost instantly, and the rest of the book could easily have been wrapped up faster than it was. Yet despite how fast things were wrapped up in one aspect, there were a ton of other things that were just dropped! I couldn't believe how many things were left hanging and unresolved, and I have no idea if there will be any more books in this series. This does end with an epilogue, but even that felt too brief and far too rushed. I just wasn't satisfied with how this story ended considering how much I had really enjoyed the first book. The way things went here it easily could have been resolved in one book. I really felt like this story needed two books after finishing the first, but this one changed my mind with how it was done. So while I really loved the first book, I ended up feeling as though this series was just okay and I was honestly disappointed with how it was concluded.

**ARC Provided by Publisher**

Purchase: | Amazon | Kindle | B&N | Book Depository | iTunes | 

Friday, November 27, 2015

ARC Review: Cruel and Beautiful by A.M. Hargrove and Terri E. Laine

I honestly have so few words to really describe what I am feeling after finishing Cruel and Beautiful by A.M. Hargrove and Terri E. Laine. This book was everything. It was every emotion possible, and it was one of the best (if not the best!) book I have read all year. I am not much of a crier when it comes to books or movies, but this book had me in tears. I felt so emotionally connected to this book and the characters and I could not put it down. Even as I was trying to read through the tears I just couldn't stop. Knowing that this book was based on a true story added a whole other layer to my feelings here, and I honestly can't even begin to describe what going through something similar in real life must have been like. While I am a fan of A.M. Hargrove (seriously LOVE her!), I am new to Terri E. Laine. I thought that they did a wonderful job of meshing their styles and writing a cohesive and solid story here. I can't wait to read more from each of these authors, and I really hope that we get more novels from them writing as a team. 

While I would normally summarize the story, I feel like I can't really do that here. Even the smallest detail could spoil the story, and trust me you do not want that to happen. I actually hadn't even read the blurb before starting this book. I have a friend that had read this book and she told me that she needed me to read this so that she could talk to someone about it. So I just dove right in, not really having any idea what to expect. Honestly had I read the blurb or really paid attention to the cover, I never would have been able to guess the emotional journey I was in for. But this book made me feel and think, and while it was absolutely gut wrenching at times it was also full of love. It was sexy, fun and extremely emotional, but while this book was heartbreaking and sad it was at its core about unconditional love. This book was so accurately described with the title because while it is cruel, it is also one of the most beautiful stories I have ever read. 

I loved the characters here. They were great and so easy to fall in love with. Not only were the main characters fantastic, but I really liked all the secondary characters as well. Each character played such a pivotal role in the whole story that without a single one of them the entire story would have been different. I feel like it is important to let the reader know that this book does switch between the past and the present, giving the reader glimpses of how everything started and the long journey to where this book ended. While this book wasn't always easy, it was worth the read and is one that I will be thinking about for a long time to come. I know that I will read this book again, even knowing what I am in for. It is one that I will recommend to everyone who asks what they should be reading. If you haven't picked this book up yet, you absolutely should. It isn't often that I will just blanketly recommend a book to anyone who reads without specifying which genre the readers should be a fan of, but I really believe that this story has it all and will be one that any romance fan can appreciate.

**ARC Provided by Authors**

Purchase: | Amazon | Kindle | B&N | Book Depository | iTunes | 

ARC Review: Sweetest Scoundrel by Elizabeth Hoyt

This is the third book I have read by Elizabeth Hoyt in her “Maiden Lane” series and I just love it! Even though I have not read all the books in the series I just love how she keeps coming up with different characters and how she interweaves them throughout!

Even though this is a little out of order, I have to say I cannot wait to see what she does that the horrible Valentine Napier, the Duke of Montgomery!!! He is so awful I cannot wait to see what she has in store for him and Bridge Crumb- the housekeeper. He has had it coming for over two stories now. Even the little snippets we saw of him in this story were fantastic!

Now on to the hero and heroine in this story, Eve Dinwoody is the illegitimate sister of Val or the Duke of Montgomery. He has always protected her and looked out for her and Val has given the financing of the theater, Harte’s Folley, to her. Eve is a very smart and pragmatic business woman. She also loves her brother and is unbendingly loyal to him. Asa Makepeace is also unbendingly loyal to the theatre. It is his passion and his life. He takes his job of managing the theatre very seriously. When Eve decides to take a “hands on” approach to managing the theatre Asa is less than happy about her meddling.

I really liked Asa and Eve together. Right off they don’t like each other and they rub each other the wrong way, but it makes for wonderful tension and wonderful reading. Eve is a very isolated individual. She has no friends and no connections outside of her brother-for her, emotional connections are very difficult. Asa is very outspoken and crude- he says what he means and means what he says. I loved how they both got underneath each other’s skin. Asa really breaks through Eve’s isolation and in many ways she helps him reconnect with his family. I loved the background that the author provided on both these characters and it became easy to see why they had the different hang-ups that they did.

Aside from the great chemistry between Asa and Eve, Hoyt also includes a little bit of mystery as Asa’s work at the theatre is being sabotaged. I was curious to see who was causing all the trouble and placing the lives of these people in danger. The presence of Val was also a good addition to the story since I am impatiently awaiting his story. The characters from “Darling Beast” and “Dearest Rogue” also appear and I enjoyed their participation in the story.

Needless to say I continue to be a huge fan of this series. Hoyt combines so many great elements in the series that the minute I finish one story I am impatient for the next. I can almost feel how great “Duke of Pleasure” will be to read. This was a great addition to the “Maiden Lane” series.

**ARC provided by Publisher**

Purchase: | Amazon | Kindle | B&N | iTunes |

Guest Post with Christy English and Giveaway

Ever since Christy English picked up a fake sword in stage combat class at the age of fourteen, she has lived vicariously through the sword-wielding women of her imagination. A banker by day and a writer by night, she loves to eat chocolate, drink too many soft drinks, and walk the mountain trails of her home in North Carolina.

ARC Review: Cooper by Melissa Foster

Cooper is the fourth and final book in the Wild Boys series from Melissa Foster. It was a great conclusion to the series, and I really liked this book. It was sweet and sexy, and I just love second chance romance stories. Cooper and Cici were so perfect for one another and I think readers and fans of the series will really enjoy this one! 

Celeste "Cici" Fine and Cooper Wild met at a film festival and after a week together, knew that they had fallen in love. Though it was fast, the connection they shared was one that both of them knew was forever. They planned to marry one another and start a family, while opening a photography business together. But one tragic event changed everything, and Cooper left Cici behind broken hearted. Finally able to move past his grief and start living again, Cooper is determined to win Cici back and start the life that they planned together. But four years are a long time apart and a lot has changed for each of them. Though Cici's feelings for Cooper have never changed despite how much he hurt her, she has to think about more than just herself. Cici knows that she needs to tell Cooper about the daughter she has been raising on her own that he never knew about, but can Cooper accept that it is no longer just him and Cici if they move forward together? 

Cooper and Cici had a quick and intense connection.While it was a bit of insta-love, that was all in the past here and the connection they shared was obvious. Cooper and Cici had real feelings for one another that ran so deep and I felt bad for both of them. I hated that four years had gone by and that each of them been dealing with the pain alone when it should have been them helping and supporting each other. Cooper had been lost in his grief and while I understood that he was in a dark place and didn't want to bring Cici into that, I wish that he would have gone to her. He was lost and Cici's love could have really helped him. Cici had thought that he had forgotten her and she never got an explanation for what happened. My heart broke for her with having to deal with those feelings as well as face becoming a parent alone. Her daughter was everything to her, but she was also a daily reminder of all that she didn't have as well. These two never stopped caring for one another, and the bond they had formed never dimmed.

I will say that as quickly as they had begun though, they picked right back up just as fast. They jumped right back in bed together and while Cici did wait a bit to tell him everything, things happened rather quickly and I wasn't sure that was completely realistic. It all seemed to be a bit rushed, even knowing how strong they felt for one another. I also felt like the ending was a bit abrupt here like the ending for Jackson's book was. While I think we will get some glimpses of these characters as the Bad boys get their stories, I wanted to get a bit more here of the Wild family. I would have liked an epilogue to sort of close the series out and give readers more of a satisfying and complete ending. It just felt a bit unfinished with how quickly it was tied up and over, and I would have liked to have seen down the line for each of the couples. I really enjoyed this series though, and if you are a fan of Melissa Foster this is one series you need to read. It is everything that her contemporaries are, but with a sexier edge to them. Melissa Foster is one of my favorites, and this won't be the last I read from her.

**ARC Provided by Tasty Book Tours**

Purchase: | Amazon | Kindle | B&N | Book Depository | iTunes | 

Thursday, November 26, 2015

ARC Review: Stars in Your Eyes by Lynn Kurland

Unfortunately I made the decision to stop this book at about 15% or after chapter 4. I was very, very, very bored. I tried to get into it, but after five days of trying, I've given up.

I met both leads during the four chapters I read, and neither of them seemed interesting to me. Mostly, it was a lot of inner dialogue explaining their past, families, and their thoughts on the matters. I know back stories are necessary but these were way too much.

Physically not a lot happened. Imogen traveled on a train to get to some specific point in England and visited a local shop. Phillip was having conversations with his family and preparing to go to his fiance's home to better encourage her to marry him.

This had none of the great story writing I have felt from Kurland's Nine Kingdom fantasy series where I'm usually pulled in after the first chapter. I am pretty bummed I didn't get more into the book.

**ARC provided by Publisher**

Purchase: | Amazon | Kindle | B&N | iTunes |

ARC Review: Steal Me by Lauren Layne

Book two of Lauren Layne’s New York’s Finest series; but does very well as a stand-alone, and once again she astounds me with an exciting story, an aggravating hero and a heroine learning to stand strong all on her own. I love Lauren Layne, I love her writing voice, and her active setting is always engaging I find that I always want to visit the places she writes about. Her characters are easy to sympathize with and are very realistic with their own flaws that they work to change or come to terms with.

The Moretti family is a great family, big on family dinners (that must be pasta of some sort) and meddling in your life whether you want them to or not. What makes worse is the father Tony is the former police commissioner and all but one of his kids are cops, the lone girl is a DA. Anthony Moretti is the oldest and has aspirations of following in his father’s footsteps to one day be the Police Commissioner and his priorities list NYPD, Family, and the Yankees; and lately the only one not driving him crazy are the Yankees. Anth’s first big case as Captain and it has him stumped a rash of theft by a man who leaves a thank you note and an obnoxious smile face sticker as a calling card. No other clues and never anything really big make tracking “Smiley very difficult. Tony has almost none stop been bugging Anth about what he’s going to do. He will figure it out his career depends on it.

The Moretti’s has a tradition of eating Sunday Brunch at The Darby Diner and when their favorite waitress retired the woman to take over was Maggie Walker. Maggie easily fit right in with the Moretti’s, except Anthony, or “Captain” as she referred to him and despite the unwanted attraction she feels toward Captain, he always acts like a pompous ass, and that’s only because of the unwanted attraction he feels for her. Maggie is starting over in her life, finally divorced from her useless husband and far enough away from her father and brother they can’t use her either. Maggie is tired of being a door mat, so here she is living in a low rent apartment in Brooklyn, working as a waitress and in every spare minute she is writing her novel. Maggie thought she left her pathetic excuse of an ex husband behind in Jersey when she moved but that is until she identifies her ex as “Smiley”. Now Anth and Maggie must deal with the attraction they both feel and not get Anth in trouble with his superiors because falling in love with Maggie, who at this point is an informant for the case, is strictly forbidden.

Anth, because of his attraction and the fact that Maggie is a friend of the Moretti family, feels it’s his duty to keep her safe that means he is spending a lot of time with Maggie. In their time together Maggie’s quick come back and all around sassiness breaks through Anth’s hard exterior and finds her way in to his heart. And Anth found his way into Maggie’s by being so freakin’ sweet but Anth is torn inside wanting to protect Maggie and needing to find Smiley and the only way to catch Smiley is with Maggie.

Overall, this was a great book. Anthony and Maggie are so sweet; they are so, very, understanding of each other’s dreams and goals. The ending was so satisfying, and sweet. I want an Anthony of my own!

**ARC provided by Publisher**

Purchase: | Amazon | Kindle | B&N | Google Play | iTunes | Kobo |

Guest Post with Victoria James and Ophelia London and Giveaway

Victoria James is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of contemporary romance.

Victoria always knew she wanted to be a writer and in grade five, she penned her first story, bound it (with staples and a cardboard cover) and did all the illustrations herself. Luckily, this book will never see the light of day again.

In high school she fell in love with historical romance and then contemporary romance. After graduating University with an English Literature degree, Victoria pursued a degree in Interior Design and then opened her own business. After her first child, Victoria knew it was time to fulfill her dream of writing romantic fiction.

Victoria is a hopeless romantic who is living her dream, penning happily-ever-after's for her characters in between managing kids and the family business. Writing on a laptop in the middle of the country in a rambling old Victorian house would be ideal, but she's quite content living in suburbia with her husband, their two young children, and very bad cat.

Sign up for Victoria's Newsletter to stay up to date on upcoming releases and exclusive giveaways, follow her blog for daily antics and insight into her daily life, and get to know her on twitter and Facebook. She loves hearing from readers!

| Site | Facebook | Twitter |

Feature and Giveaway: I'll Be Home for Christmas by Lori Wilde

Nothing says Christmas like New York Times bestselling author Lori Wilde and Twilight, TX, and now Lori returns to Twilight for a brand new heartwarming holiday tale. The matchmaking members of the Cookie Club are up to their old tricks again!

Christmas in Twilight, Texas, is all merriment and mistletoe. The Cookie Club is whipping up their most festive sweets, the townspeople are scrambling to get their holiday shopping done, and Joe-a hometown guy with a restless heart-is dreaming about the woman he wants to kiss most…

…And who happens to be staying at his sister’s place over the holidays, while Joe’s sister is away. But Joe isn’t quite sure he wants to be a living Christmas present to runaway law student Gabi Preston.

Joe thinks the sassy sweetheart he nicknames “Trouble” won’t inconvenience anything but his healthy sex drive. But when he discovers the reasons Gabi escaped from her life, he aches to give her everything she’s never had. As the magic of the season draws them together, the gift of love is the only one worth giving…

Purchase: | Amazon | Kindle | B&N | iTunes |

ARC Review: Jackson by Melissa Foster

Jackson is the third installment in the Wild Boys After Dark series from Melissa Foster. Each book can be read as a standalone, but the characters are interconnected as the series centers around the Wild brothers. I have been waiting to get Jackson's book, especially after the tease we got of him at the end of Heath. I knew that his story would be one I couldn't wait to read since it is about Jackson and his best friend Erica. While I absolutely loved Erica and Jackson together, I will admit that there were a few things here that kept this one from being as good as the previous two books for me personally. 

When Erica Lane's boyfriend of nine months proposes to her on her birthday, she immediately turns to her best friend Jackson. They are set to go on their annual camping trip for her birthday, and she needs him to help get her mind off the proposal. Jackson and Erica quickly jump into bed with one another as they have over the last thirteen years of friendship. Though Erica and Jackson have date others, their friends with benefits pact has remained in effect the entire time since their first hook-up. But with a marriage proposal on the table, everything changes and both Erica and Jackson are left wondering how they can possibly move forward without things being the same between them. Can they figure out a way to let one another go, or will they finally be able to find love in one another?

As I said before, I loved Erica and Jackson together. The friendship and bond these two had was never in question. Neither was their chemistry. These two were seriously hot together, and they knew one another inside and out. There was so much history between Erica and Jackson, and I enjoyed each glimpse of their past and how they became as close as they were here. Both Erica and Jackson were afraid to commit to any one person, but it was clear that if they could it would have been each other. The fact that their feelings were so real and strong was where some of my issues came in, because it was clear just how much each of them meant to one another. I didn't quite understand why they had never made that transition from friends with benefits to full on relationship because they were basically there already. Though they were each with other people at times, neither of them was ever serious about anyone else. 

My other big problem with this whole situation was the fact that I found it to be pretty unbelievable. I didn't understand how Erica could be in a relationship with a guy for nine months that was willing to propose to her, all the while knowing that she was still sleeping with her friend at the same time as him. He didn't have a problem with her going on a camping trip alone with Jackson after he had just proposed, and he had to have known exactly what would happen. It just didn't seem to be realistic to me, and I don't know a single man that would allow that to happen if they felt like the relationship was a serious enough one to propose marriage. As much as I loved Jackson and Erica together and thought that they were perfect for one another, the problems I mentioned and the fact that this one ended so abruptly made this one my least favorite of the series so far. I wanted to love this one so much, but I just wasn't able to like I did with Logan and Heath. I do think that it is worth the read, especially if you have already started the series. There were some really great moments here and these two were hot! But I am hoping that Cooper's story will be more like Logan and Heath's than Jackson's.

**ARC Provided by Tasty Book Tours**

Purchase: | Amazon | Kindle | B&N | Book Depository | iTunes |